By Eli Yokley
March 15, 2017 at 7:00 am ET
More Americans approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president and of the direction the country is headed, according to Morning Consult/POLITICO surveys conducted over the past six weeks.
The most recent poll, conducted March 9-13, found that 52 percent of Americans approve of Trump’s job performance, compared with a 49 percent approval rating shortly after Inauguration Day. This month’s survey found that 43 percent of respondents do not approve of the president’s job performance.
When asked about the direction of the country, 46 percent of Americans said they believe the country is on the right track, up 4 points since a late January poll and up 17 points since immediately after Election Day, when just 29 percent of voters felt the same way. Still, 54 percent of voters said the country is on the wrong track, 4 percentage points lower than immediately after Trump took office.
Despite several public controversies, the two measurements have remained relatively steady, and almost all of the movement has been in Trump’s direction among all voters.
Much of the gains track with positive economic indicators during his first few weeks in office, including a strong jobs report and stock market gains. The S&P 500 Index is up more than 100 points since Trump’s inauguration, and on Friday the White House took a victory lap after government figures showed a gain of 235,000 jobs during his first full month in office.
The polls also found that Americans are more likely to trust the Republican Party to handle economic issues than the Democrats. Forty-nine percent said they trust congressional Republicans to handle the economy over Democrats, and 50 percent said the same about handling jobs. Three in 10 voters, a plurality, said the economy is the top issue on their mind.
Trump’s lone dip in job approval came in early February following the initial rollout of his controversial executive order banning citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from traveling to the United States. Last week, Trump signed a similar executive order designed to withstand a potential court challenge. Fifty-six percent of registered voters support the new order, compare with 55 percent who supported the first travel ban, which was blocked by a federal judge.
Eighty-four 84 percent of Trump supporters back the latest ban, and their optimism for the direction of the country has also grown, from 69 percent to 78 percent, during the president’s first weeks in office. Twenty-two percent of Trump voters said America is still on the wrong track.
Trump’s supporters approve just as strongly of his job performance now (92 percent) as they did when he took office (91 percent). The share of Trump voters disapproving of his work as president has risen from 3 percent to 6 percent.
The national online survey polled 1,983 registered voters from March 9-13. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. See more here.